Children's Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) Awards $100,000 Grants to Eight Early-Career Researchers as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Wraps


CCRF’s Emerging Scientist Award develops the independent research of highly qualified early-career scientists

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) recently awarded these eight promising scientists the Emerging Scientist Award, each worth $100,000, to pursue their research in the childhood cancer field:

  • Erin Crotty, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital, will use her grant to further investigate a brain cancer test she and her team have already developed.
  • Carol Fries Simpson, MD, University of Rochester, will study the genetic make-up of B-lymphoblastic lymphoma, an under-researched childhood cancer, to identify a targeted treatment approach for children battling the disease.
  • Lillian Guenther, MD, St. Jude, is exploring a specific gene called SMARCAL1 that plays a key role in the development of metastatic osteosarcoma, a lethal bone cancer.   
  • Emily Heikamp, MD, PhD, MSc, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will research the mechanisms that drive NUP98-r acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Jemma Larson, PhD, University of Minnesota, aims to understand the deadly impact of acute Graft-versus-Host Disease in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Margot Lazow, MD, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, plans to conduct a clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a promising therapy called Lutathera in kids with deadly brain and spine tumors.
  • Andrew Marley, PhD, University of Minnesota, will study the potential link between maternal obesity and acute lymphoblastic leukemia incidence in children.
  • Jia-Ray Yu, PhD, Virginia Tech, plans to screen a series of drug-like compounds that could be used to treat acute myeloid leukemia and diffuse midline glioma.

“We would’ve never gotten [an R01 grant] without CCRF helping mature the project. The Emerging Scientist Award got the ball rolling, and we snowballed it into a bigger project,” Beau Webber, PhD, a 2017 Emerging Scientist Award recipient, is on his way to a 5-year, $3.3 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his Ewing sarcoma research.

Why Children’s Cancer Research Fund supports scientists early in their careers

At CCRF, we believe scientists early in their careers have inventive approaches that can advance the childhood cancer research field.

One of the most back-breaking parts of a researcher’s career is right at the beginning. It’s when they’re trying to set up their labs and garner funding for their newly investigated ideas. Scientists entering childhood cancer research typically don’t have extensive portfolios and research data that could make them stand out against more experienced researchers, making it difficult to earn large grants from the government and other institutions. Many innovative ideas stall or never get explored.

We’ve made it part of our mission to give early-career scientists the funding to pursue their research so kids can get treatments informed by fresh, forward-thinking perspectives. Our Emerging Scientist Award turns ideas into mature projects that vie for larger grants.

More about the Emerging Scientist Award can be found here.

About Children’s Cancer Research Fund

CCRF invests in groundbreaking research that is leading to better treatments and cures for children with cancer. Since 1981, CCRF donors have funded research that has revolutionized the way childhood cancer is treated worldwide. Visit or call 888-422-7348 to learn more. 


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SOURCE Children’s Cancer Research Fund

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